When you hear or see the word “Thanksgiving,” what do you think of?
For most people, myself included, their mind automatically jumps to a plethora of homemade food that’s fresh out of the oven. We also think of spending time with family around the dinner table, watching football together whilst eating Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. Besides family, much of this holiday is centered around eating. The Thanksgiving season is all about being grateful, and we sure don’t forget how grateful we are for food.
Overeating is inevitable. I mean, c’mon – it’s Thanksgiving for crying out loud! Thanks to the pilgrims, celebrating through feasting is a popular and beloved stitch in the fabric of our culture. For this reason, calories shouldn’t count on holidays and we try to just enjoy the food we have in front of us.
But wouldn’t it be nice to not feel sick all night or nurture a food baby until the next morning?
This year, try adding some tasty and healthy alternatives to the dinner table. You can still eat all of your Thanksgiving meal favorites, but this time, with a slight health spin on them. Trust me, your taste buds will still thank you at the end of the meal!
Herb Roasted Turkey
Turkey is known to be the main entree at the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Although turkey is a lean protein, it can, oddly enough, be one of the unhealthiest parts of the meal if too much butter and seasoning is used. But it doesn’t have to be. If you choose a flavorful baked recipe that doesn’t require tons of butter, you can cut out tons of calories. I suggest cooking up an herb-roasted turkey breast. A delicious, easy-to-follow recipe, courtesy of Food Network’s Ina Garten, can be found here. Keep in mind, though, this recipe can take a decent amount of time due to a 40-minute prep time and a 2-hour cook time. But don’t let the time scare you off! The recipe only requires 3 steps and will do your body so much good.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
While these potatoes may not be the ones you’re used to dishing onto your packed Thanksgiving plate, they still taste just as good as your mom’s homemade mashed potatoes! This recipe is a personal favorite of mine. Potatoes are such a versatile food item with potential to be mashed potatoes, french fries, potato chips, baked potato – you name it! This FOOD & WINE lemony salt-roasted fingerling potato recipe is the perfect balance between potatoes looking like fries, tasting unhealthily amazing, yet actually being healthy for you. Plus, the lemon herb salt used in the recipe can also be used on fish, chicken, and various vegetables also served at your meal.
I’m not a huge squash girl, but I’m definitely an oven-roasted squash girl – especially if it’s this recipe from EatingWell. This garlic and parsley squash recipe makes eating vegetables a tasty experience. Not only does the squash look like the perfect fall-colored food, it’s also heart-healthy, good for the immune system, and high in fiber. Now you can have a good-tasting, good-looking vegetable side on your table at Thanksgiving.
No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Can’t forget about dessert! This dessert option checks the box for pumpkin lovers and is a healthier dessert option than most boxed pies. The decadent, pumpkin-y dessert is a great option if you’re looking to make something seasonal and not too complicated. You can follow the recipe for the no bake pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap pecan crust here. One great quality of this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time if you won’t have enough time on Thanksgiving day. Just store it in the fridge and when you’re ready to serve it, enjoy a fresh-tasting, flavorful treat! Plus, each serving cup is only 377 calories. Not too shabby for a dessert!
Thanksgiving is full of yummy food options, and with these recipes, you can feel extra good about your meal choices! If you know of any other delectable, yet still healthy recipes, please share with us! We’d love to hear your favorites!
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